It gave me no pleasure ripping this film a new one when it came out. And rightfully so, the theatrical cut is a pristine piece of garbage from a rotten pail. Plus, your film has to be pretty bad to get a hardcore Batman fan to start ragging on you…come on! But every detail I’d been hearing about this final cut gave me some hope. So, did the new cut help solve the issues or tank the film even more? It goes without saying, but this post will have spoilers.
Well, let’s just say there’s a few things that didn’t change…
Luthor Is Still Annoying
Poor Jesse Eisenberg. You will see in a minute why Luthor’s plan and some of his motivations make more sense with these scenes added back in. That being said, I still loathe this version of Luthor. I will still take Spacey or Hackman any day even in a mediocre Superman movie than this weird, detached feel I guess he was going for? Anyway, there may be a reason for his nutty performance, which I’ll explain below.
The Interpretations Are The Same
If you didn’t like Snyder’s interpretation on our classic heroes, don’t expect the additional scenes to fix that. Personally, I believe his treatment of both these characters are still problematic. (Not to mention they wasted a key Superman character, Jimmy Olsen, as a quickly killed off CIA agent). However, I can’t say these new scenes didn’t help balance out a key critique I had last time.
Now that we have that out-of-the-way, let’s see what worked and what it fixed….
Now, It’s a Batman V Superman movie
Remember when we got promised a movie with two heroes and it felt like we just got a Batman movie with Supes tossed in? Yeah, turns out that most of the good Superman scenes were left on the cutting room floor. We see in the original cut how much Luthor was screwing with Bruce Wayne, but not so much with Clark Kent. With the new scenes added in, we see that *surprise surprise* Clark is actually doing his job as a reporter which leads him to question Batman’s rise in brutality.
Yes, it’s still highly hypocritical, but that’s the point the movie is trying to make. It just doesn’t work as well when you don’t have enough moments that help us see Clark’s reasoning. He’s actually trying to be a defender of the people even though he realizes his intervention isn’t always wanted or legally allowed, which echoes a recurring theme of the film: Does Superman have the right to intervene how he chooses? Should he impose his morality on the world?
The Luthor Plan Makes Sense Now
Wow, mostly every plot hole you could think of gets taken care of when you add these scenes back in.
Why did the U.S. government blame Superman for the Africa attack? Because Luthor had the bodies burned to make it look like Superman’s heat vision.
Why didn’t the locals tell the truth? Luthor paid them off and had one person in particular falsely testify. In the original cut, you only see this woman you makes the initial inquiry against Superman. You have no idea
Why would a Bat branding get you killed in prison? Because Luthor paid for them to die in prison, helping fuel Clark Kent’s search and evidence against Batman. This thread is more integral and logical now because it made zero sense otherwise. If anything, I think prisoners would see it as a badge of honor like “I attended Batman’s School of Pain and all I got was this brand”
Why didn’t Superman see the bomb at the Senate hearing? You probably guessed a lead-lined bomb, but movies are required to treat the audience as if they have no previous knowledge. So leaving this out especially when you are reaching a new generation of fans is terrible. You would be surprised how many people don’t know Superman can’t see through lead.
There’s a few more of these moments especially between Jena Malone’s crime lab character and Lois Lane which serve to fill in those gaps. With a tighter and more focused narrative, these issues could have been avoided and viewers would have figured it out. The version we received is still too attached to these moments to be divorced from them to make enough sense.
They still didn’t answer why Superman stopped Batman in mid-chase (Batmobile chase after the Kryptonite) and neglected to ask him who he was chasing. Looks like the blood circulation got cut off in those red and blue tights. I still long for a better conversation between these two suited up, but it never happens.
The Pacing Is Smoother
I’m not a huge fan of a 3 hour movie unless you can keep me engaged the entire time. This film doesn’t do that even with the added scenes back in. Honestly, I’m yawning by the time they suit up to fight each other. The new scenes did however fix the pace of the film; they helped it settle down substantially. The original version felt rushed and this is definitely the reason why. Again, this could have been fixed by reworking the narrative, but at least you will keep a better read of what’s going on now.
Luthor’s Craziness May Be Explained
Holy crap Steppenwolf!! (If you just thought of the band, I’m gonna need you to leave this article. If you just thought of them because I reminded you the band exists, enjoy the video at the end of the article) Luthor is seen communing with an unknown figure in the crashed Kryptonian ship. Many have called this out to be Steppenwolf, one of Darkseid’s Elite. While I can’t be sure of the timeline, one thing that is for sure, Luthor’s mannerisms changed after he gained access to the ship. The speech he gives at the banquet was really weird, but it also came after he got the ship. And his nutty ravings in the jail cell definitely came after his communication with Steppenwolf. Is it possible that he became a bit screwy after this encounter or repeated unseen encounters. This would certainly make his weird performance much clearer. He may not be controlled by Darkseid, but perhaps some of the alien tech scrambled him a bit?
I Don’t Hate Superman
We could dive into my issues with this version of Superman, but that is too long for the scope of this post. While Snyder’s interpretation still leaves me wanting, the new scenes at least make him a competent individual. Honestly, I was upset at most of his decisions until this point. Again, that goes back to the hypocritical nature of his intervention, which gets stated in the original cut. Expounding on it the added scenes with Clark’s Batman investigation helps you like Superman so much more. It may have looked like an easy cut for an editor to make, but they definitely didn’t realize how much this would make us dislike Cavil’s portrayal even more.
These problems stem back from Man Of Steel where many of us never really connected to the new Superman. To cut any of his scenes in the new films really should have been weighed a little heavier given that information. But watching this again really made me like Cavil much more than I did. There’s added scenes where he attempts to help survivors of the bomb blast and more
Problems For The Future
The only thing that should really concern DC fans right now is this: How can Warner Bros and DC avoid such a colossal misstep in the future? Because they don’t have many more chances left. Screw up with Suicide Squad and people can probably get over it. Mess up the first on-screen gathering of the Justice League? You may not recover this decade.
Geoff Johns taking over the DC Universe is probably the best news we’ve received since this Ultimate Edition came out. There is a clear disconnect between Snyder’s vision and the Warner Bros execs. If they understood his goals and how he wanted to portray these classic characters, they *hopefully* would never have trimmed it down into the watered down mess we received.
That being said, Snyder has to be able to craft a tighter narrative with the writers. When a film requires this many scenes to even be manageable, you are essentially writing yourself into a corner if any get cut out. Scenes are chopped all the time; sometimes ones that explain major plot holes even in our favorite or most famous movies. You have to avoid cutting a supporting plot point however. This is doomed BvS from the start and no amount of CGI-electrified cave troll battles could save it.
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice (Ultimate Edition) 6 out of 10
To see my review of the theatrical cut, check it out here
Hey Nerd Faithful, expect even more great articles and reviews from Commander Shipp and the rest of the Nerd Union crew. The Commander and crew were on a long hiatus after the abysmal failure of this film. Somehow, only the tunes of Steppenwolf kept them going. As promised, enjoy the video:
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